- Your own little garden of slaves and sycophants, eh, Candler? Don't you all understand? You're not human! You're artificial life candler created out of mutant plant tissue!
- -- Bruce Banner
Appearing in "New Lives for Old"
Races and Species:
- Sallis's car (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "New Lives for Old"
The Hulk lands in the middle of the Florida swamps, confused and tired he vaguely remembers how Tyrannus somehow took control of him. Exhausted, the Hulk falls asleep and begins to revert back into Bruce Banner. His presence is detected by the Man-Thing who approaches the slumbering form of Banner. However, a group of people who have made their home of the swamps come, prompting the muck-monster to slink out of sight. These settlers are delighted to see that this man is Bruce Banner and carry him off. This whole exchange caused a brief glint of memory in the mind of Man-Thing, of its past life as scientist Ted Sallis. Sallis was attempting to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that created Captain America. Fleeing those who sought to exploit his discovery, injected it into himself as he fled. Unfortunately, he crashed his jeep into the swamp and through some strange fluke, was turned into the Man-Thing. He then remembers his most recent memory when he merged with the Nexus of All Realities, however, part of him remained behind. Disturbed by these thoughts, the Man-Things dismisses them and wanders back out into the swamp.
Later, Bruce Banner wakes up to find himself in a hut surrounded by people. To his surprise, one of these people is, apparently, his wife Betty Ross. Bruce is shocked, because as far as he knows, Betty is dead. To get answers, Bruce is taken to this commune's leader, Owen Chandler. This is another shock to Bruce, because so far as he knows Owen Chandler would have long since died of old age. Chandler promises Bruce that he will reveal all the answers in the morning and tells him to get some rest. Taking a walk with Betty, he asks her to tell him what happens but she will not betray Chandler's trust. She tells him that she needs to go, and will see him in the morning and tells him to get some sleep. However, with so many unanswered questions, sleep does not come easy. He decides to take a look around, and he finds no trace of life anywhere around the settlement. In each of the huts, he finds strange masses of plants instead. When he checks Betty's hut he is shocked to see that she too has turned into a strange plant. As his heart begins to pound, Bruce suddenly passes out instead of changing into the Hulk.
Meanwhile, deep below the Earth, Tyrannus to know where the Hulk is after they lost track of him in Florida. When his second in command doesn't have any answers, Tyrannus slays him and demands answers from his replacement. The following morning, Bruce Banner is brought back to Owen Chandler. Banner is furious over his discoveries and that he was drugged in order to prevent a transformation into the Hulk. Chandler tries to explain his discovery, the Salvation Seed. When Bruce accuses him of creating plant duplicates of people, Owen's followers are quickly confused. Chandler tells his people to leave him and Bruce alone, telling them to ignore the stranger's words. Left alone, Chandler strikes Banner, calling him an animal. Chandler explains that the Salvation Seed will replace all life with plants and thus, peace on Earth. Banner finds this insane, and challenges his plan. Deciding that he must prove Banner the nobility of his goals. He explains that in his twilight years he discovered the Salvation Seed, which recreated him as a younger man after suffering a sudden heart attack. Learning what he could, he developed a means of creation bio-duplicates of human beings with the seed, creating this duplicate of Betty using pictures and articles to create a perfect duplicate of Bruce's late wife.
Even after hearing all this, Banner cannot bring himself to side with Owen Chandler and his insane goals. As such, Chandler tells his people that Banner will be fed to the Union. They then take Bruce to a fenced in part of their community. On the otherside is the Union, a massive carnivorious flower.
- With blood on his hands, The Hulk is out of control and more dangerous than ever before! And when the Green Goliath hides out in the Florida Everglades, he realizes that he isn't safe anywhere. Something is there - something sentient and deadly!
- This story recounts the origin of the Man-Thing as it was originally told in Savage Tales #1.
- The spirit of Ted Sallis recently merged itself with the Nexus of All Realities during the events of Spider-Man Annual #1999, leaving behind the Man-Thing to continue its defense of the Nexus on Earth.
- This is not Betty Ross, but and impostor. Betty died of radiation poisoning in Incredible Hulk #466. She does eventually get resurrected as seen in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #62.
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